Summertime is usually a time when students from the Machine Learning Center at Georgia Tech (ML@GT) are dispersed around the world interning at prestigious companies. While a global pandemic kept them from working out of shiny corporate offices and labs, however, students were able to still remotely intern for companies like Facebook, Qualcomm, Microsoft Research, Salesforce, Google Research, and IBM Research.
Despite the distance, students picked up essential skills and worked on interesting projects throughout the summer.
“Interning at Facebook helped me become better at time management and task management. I learned how to set a goal for the overall project and then set sub-goals for each week or two weeks,” said Xinshi Chen, a third-year Ph.D. student in the School of Computational Science and Engineering (CSE.)
Chen said she enjoyed working with experienced researchers while researching how to better model online user behavior and design recommendation policies for the social media juggernaut.
Some students learned valuable experiences in how to stand out to their employers, even as an intern.
“Especially with everything being virtual, I learned it’s vital to show enthusiasm in order to get visibility in the organization,” said Divyam Mishra, a fourth-year undergraduate student in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering who interned at Qualcomm AI.
For some, interning remotely was an ideal set-up.
“Given the virtual intern setup, I enjoyed the flexibility to do my work. Additionally, the time difference between Atlanta and Mountain View [California] worked out perfectly for me,” said Harsh Shrivastava, a fourth-year CSE Ph.D. student who worked at Google Research.
He added that the experience helped him learn how to collaborate virtually and navigate venture capital apps while exploring better architectures for randomized neural networks.
Second-year CSE Ph.D. student Karan Samel enjoyed working remotely because it allowed his team to bring in a larger variety of speakers on presentations.
Interning at IBM Research also allowed Samuel to have an inside look at how large organizations can have researchers working on similar problems on different domains in different locations. He said the experience reminded him of the importance of digging into current literature to connect the different teams.